PSMA PET scans are a special type of PET scan used to image Prostate Cancer.

The test is routinely performed with a contrast CT scan of the body to assist in localisation of lesions.


On arrival, staff will ask you some questions to make sure you are prepared for the test, and then a line (needle) will be placed into a vein in your arm. A PET tracer (PSMA) will then be injected through the line. Approximately 90 minutes after the injection, you will be positioned on the PET scanner, and the CT scan will be performed followed by an initial PET scan (this takes approximately 25 minutes).

Once the scan is complete, we will remove the line from your arm and check all the images. The PSMA does not stay in your body for long (it has a very short half-life, which means that it leaves your body very quickly). The images will then be reported by our doctors.

Before your Scan

Fast (water only) for 2 hours prior to your procedure.

Before the scan, you may be asked to change into an examination gown for your comfort, and to ensure clothing does not affect the images and diagnostic quality of the scan. You may also be asked to remove jewellery, eye-glasses and any metal objects that might interfere with the images.


A PSMA PET scan takes around 2 hours.

Risks / Side effects

There are no reported side effects from the PET tracer used with this procedure. Read more on potential side effects from the CT scan with contrast.

After the procedure, you can eat and drink as normal. The tracer will have cleared the body by itself within 24 hours. The radiation dose is equivalent to having a diagnostic CT scan, and it is safe to be around other people, including children, immediately after the scan.

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